Padrón Peppers


Roasted Padron Pepper

Yesterday, when I decided to write this note, I accidentally deleted the whole thing.  Needless to say, I closed the laptop and walked away quickly. But the more I think of it, the error I made is directly related to what I was writing about in the first place.

I walked the Camino Frances from St. Jean Pied de Port, France to Santiago, Spain in September 2018, ending on October 6, when we returned to California. The walk was by far the most adventurous activity I have undertaken to date. (You can read my daily journal under the menu section, Camino Frances.)  It wasn’t necessarily difficult, but it tested me well.  I contracted a flu-like ailment that extended for about a week and a half and I was pretty sick; sick enough to require medical attention and medication. During this period of the walk, I was focused on my feet and simply getting to the next bed. I wasn’t able to savor the time and truthfully, often just wished for the day to be over.

Throughout the trip, I relied on Caldo Gallego for soothing nourishment.  We also were introduced to warm piles of little green peppers roasted and generously sprinkled with flaking finishing salt.  The peppers serve as appetizers and are generally very mild.

Once you go on an adventure such as walking the Camino, you are pretty much resigned to thinking about it daily. So it is with me.  About two months ago I visited a nursery to purchase my summer vegetable plants and start the garden despite the crazy weather we’ve been experiencing.  Walking up and down rows of young plants I remembered the Padron Peppers and decided to see if I could find them.  Eureka!  I purchased a few plants in hopes that soon I would have a plateful to accompany a beer or two.

Well, the time has passed and I have harvested ONE pepper.  Now mind you the rest seem to be growing well, but my impatience to try one has overtaken me.  I just needed to grab a taste and satisfy my curiosity.  Kinda like turning to the end of a book to peek at the ending.

I guess that rushing through life is a function of not being able to value each moment.  Being present and grounded was the gift the Camino provided me.  It was when I was at my worst (ill) that I forgot to value this gift and in essence ignored it. That alone is a metaphor for life… even at our worst, we must experience our journey fully.

Similarly, yesterday, when I decided to write this note, I was so focused on finishing it quickly so I could move on to the day’s chores and appointments that in my rush, I lost every word.

But the taste of that pepper reminded me again, that the quality of the memories we make are a function of the level of presence we dedicate as we are making them. Pay attention to it all, the good, bad and even the indifferent.  Even a boring day is loaded with blessings.

Smell the roses…..taste the peppers.

Siempre p’adelante!


About Caro

I am a social worker by training and a peace officer by profession having worked with California’s delinquent youth and young adults for 28 years. I firmly believe that our development as humans depends on our environment and that sometimes we get stuck. As such, I write about those things we sometimes ignore or fail to see until we are forced to pay attention.
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2 Responses to Padrón Peppers

  1. Judithmatlock says:

    I loved this. Made me a little teary thinking about how sick (yet determined and yes stubborn) you were. I wanted you to take it easy and get better but you were determined to get through. My hero.

    Judith Lewis-Matlock


    Liked by 1 person

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